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Boy with Kenyan roots accepted to 4 US Ivy League universities

An American-born boy with Kenyan roots is making headlines in the United States after being accepted into four Ivy League universities.

Emmanuel Gitu, 18, has been accepted to a total of 31 colleges, including the four Ivy League universities of Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Cornell.

Gitu is a senior at Springfield High School in Delaware County and will attend Harvard University later this year.

He told CBS News that he was inspired to study neuroscience by his brother Ian Gitu, who has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), in hopes of finding answers to why people with autism and people without autism think differently.

ASD is a neurological and developmental condition that affects the way people interact with others, communicate, learn and behave.

“I believe if we can understand the key biological changes in the brain and physiology of people with autism spectrum disorder,” he told CBS News during an interview earlier this week. “I think we can give them better-specialised therapy treatment.”

Monica Conlin, chief academic officer at Springfield High School, told the news outlet that his love of learning was evident from the day he walked in as a freshman.

“Emmanuel did get into more Ivy League universities than any other student we’ve had in — honestly I couldn’t say how many years it’s been — but [he] truly has made history here at Springfield High School,” she said.

“I am very proud of him,” said his mother, Anne Gitu.

This year, 4.92 per cent of the 40,248 applicants to Harvard College won a coveted place in the Class of 2024.

Getting into Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Cornell, the so-called Ivy League schools, is considered a privilege because the competition is fierce.

Each of these universities receives thousands of applications. Harvard, for example, received 40,248 applications in January this year.

After sifting through all the applications to select those to join, only 1,980 made it to university, according to this year’s results. Emmanuel was one of them.

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